Barack Obama’s 3 Million Green Jobs Grossly Exaggerated

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 3.1 million green jobs in the US and President Barack Obama takes credit for most of them.  Before you start praising the President for being so environmentally successful, take a look at just what jobs are considered ‘green.’

Dr David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation explains,

“The BLS study counts 3.1 million green jobs, 2.2 million of which are in the private sector. Just a little digging into the data shows that only a small fraction of the 3.1 million jobs could have been created by green subsidies and mandates. In addition, most of the green jobs in the BLS study do not fit the popular image of green jobs or jobs of the future.”

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Kreutzer goes on to describe what the BLS counts as green jobs and I’ll let you determine for yourself just how accurate the government’s figures are.

The BLS claims that there are 44,152 green jobs in the generation of electrical power industry.  However, Kreutzer points out that only 4,700 of those green jobs are involved in renewable power generation.  Surprisingly, 35,755 of the 44,152 green jobs are in nuclear power generation because this type of electric generation releases no particulates, carbon dioxide, nitrogen or sulfur into the atmosphere.  Evidently they fail to consider the radioactive waste that is produced by nuclear generating plants.

A point of note here is that no new nuclear power plants have been constructed or licensed in the past 30 years.  The only actual impact to the nuclear power generation system by the Obama administration is the blockage of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility.  Without having a way to store nuclear waste products, a number of nuclear power generation plants may end up having to shut down unless they can find a way to dispose of the their radioactive waste.

Manufacturing is supposed to have 461,847 green jobs of which 43,658 are in the steel industry.  Since many steel mills rely heavily on using scrap steel, the BLS considers them to be green jobs.  However, the use of scrap steel has existed for decades and are in no way the result of any of Obama’s green initiatives.  Once again, it seems they fail to consider the emissions released by many steel mills.  Yes, many have made great improvements in cleaning up their emissions, but a number of them still release some pollutants in their processing.

The BLS has also classified 27% (30,473) of all paper mill jobs to be green job because of the use of recycled paper.  They also count 40,835 jobs in the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry as being green jobs.

The following jobs that are considered to be green jobs by the Bureau of Labor Statistics will surprise many of you as it did me:

  • Engineering services (100,847 green jobs)
  • Architectural services (71,891 green jobs)
  • Merchandise stores (106,865 green jobs)
  • Waste collection (116,293green jobs)
  • School and employee bus transportation (160,896 green jobs)
  • Office furniture (think file cabinets and desks, not computers and copiers) (14,888 green jobs)
  • Septic tank cleaning and portable toilet servicing industry (13,313 green jobs)
  • Radio and television broadcasting (9,297 green jobs)
  • Social advocacy organizations (20,704 green jobs)

The BLS defines green jobs as,

“Goods and services produced by an establishment that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. Green goods and services fall into one or more of the following five groups: (1) production of energy from renewable sources; (2) energy efficiency; (3) pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse; (4) natural resources conservation; and (5) environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness.”

If you notice, the BLS definition of green jobs is so broad that it includes garbage collectors and port-a-potty cleaners.  It’s also interesting to note that very few of the BLS green jobs are the ones that the Obama administration has thrown billions of dollars of incentives and loans towards.

When Barack Obama campaigned in 2008, he promised to create 5 million new green jobs.  By the government’s own figures, the Obama administration has created very few green jobs at the costs of billions of dollars and most of the 3.1 million green jobs were in existence long before Obama took office.

Considering what jobs the BLS defines as being green jobs and then to see just how much of a failure the Obama administration has been concerning green jobs, I believe it’s almost embarrassing to even use the term ‘green job’ any more.

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